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For Children

György Kurtág (* 1926)
Hommage à Varèse (c. 1973); Hommage à Kadosa (12 Microludes) (c. 1973); 12 New Microludies (c. 1973)
Helmut Lachenmann (* 1935)
Child’s Play (1980)
Sofia Gubaidulina (* 1931)
Musical Toys (1969); Däumelinchen
Steffen Schleiermacher (* 1960)
Balance - Four Microludies (Hommage à György Kurtág) (2008)

Steffen Schleiermacher, piano

This is an intriguing and disturbing CD. Steffen Schleiermacher is one of the most thoughtful and accom[lished pianists specialsing on contemporary music (q.v. our reviews of his discs of Berg, his Teachers and Followers

and of Feldman & Scelsi).

In his candid notes he reports on a straw-poll of teacher friends, who are discouraging; these 63 little pieces are nearly all of them unlikely to interest or appeal to children...

They are mostly very austere and simplified, perhaps too much so; more about the bricks of musical construction than pieces of musical to endear children. Gubaidulina's are more like "piano music", both hands having something to do. Lachenmann's and Kurtag's (and Schleiermacher himself's) are too sparse to make easy contact with those for whom they are intended. But with an insightful, open minded teacher something positive may be possible.

Watch this space.

Peter Grahame Woolf

For fuller information about this release, see http://www.mdg.de/pdf/1520e.pdf